I haven’t read anything of Jio’s before. Blackberry Winter was a Kindle Daily Deal and the description sounded interesting. At worst, I’d be out three dollars. At best, I’d find one of those gems that sneak up on you. Blackberry Winter is definitely a gem.
Blackberry Winter weaves together two different tales of struggles and loss. Vera heads to work one evening and when she leaves there is snow blanketing the ground and her son is gone. Claire’s life is in pieces and it takes a snow storm to put her on the path to fixing herself. The stories are beautifully interwoven, constantly pulling at my heart and never giving a moment of rest.
I did figure out early on most of how the characters are connected. I initially thought that knowing the big mystery would take me out of the novel. It didn’t at all. I still needed to know how things got from point A to point B and all the little pieces in the middle.
Vera’s story had me in tears. The pain she went through is something no mother should ever have to go through. And to have it set in 1933, when times were dire or times were fantastic, all depending on how much money there was to your name. She worked hard to make life as good as she could for her son, and it was so easy to feel the love she had for him.
Claire is going through her own heartache. Her world has been broken to bits and she’s not sure how she’s supposed to put it back together. When a May snowstorm hits and she comes the story of Vera and Daniel Ray, something in her compels her to dig the truth out. She needs to find out how Vera’s story ends and I loved going on that journey with her.
Sarah Jio is an author that hadn’t been on my radar before. But after reading Blackberry Winter, I will definitely be reading more of her writings. She wove a breathtaking story through these pages and had me tearing up at the end. This is a book that needs to be read.